Effects in Marvel Strike Force


On this page, you will find all effects in MSF along with brief explanations to help you fully understand the basics and existing strategies. Upon introducing a new effect in the game, this post will be updated accordingly. Hopefully, this will help you understand all outcomes that could happen to you while playing Marvel Strike Force.


In games like MSF, “buffs” are positive effects placed on allies. Buffs increase their stats, and their ability to defend or attack. Buffs improve the overall effectiveness of a certain character or team.

Counterattack upon being attacked by an enemy

  • Lasts: Until Counterattack is executed
  • Flip Effect: Bleed

Counterattack is not especially powerful in the form of damage because it usually causes 60% of characters’ Basic Attacks. However, if multiple allies simultaneously have Counterattacks on and the enemy hits them with AOE ability, combined damage from several characters at the same time can be devastating.

It’s also important to say that all debuffs available to the character’s Basic Attack will be placed as well. If a character with Counterattack is equipped with Skirmisher ISO-8, executing Counterattack may remove a random buff if Target is already under the effect of Vulnerability.


A lethal hit does not kill a character. Instead, their HP is reduced to 1.

  • Lasts: Until a character is lethally hit
  • Flip Effect: Bleed

Deathproof grants your characters one additional opportunity to be hit before dying. Depending on the situation, Deathproof can essentially change the battle outcome because it will stall for you to heal your character or to kill enemies before they kill you.

This can be especially effective against compositions that have insane initial damage burst but can’t survive if you are given a chance to play.

The Deathproof effect may seem symbolic but honestly, it can totally change the battle outcome on certain occasions.


Negative effects cannot be applied to the character with the Immunity effect

  • Lasts: End of Immunity duration (1-2 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Disrupted

Immunity prevents enemies from placing their debuffs on the target. Knowing that the main strength of most characters is their ability to control the battle with debuffs, makes Immunity especially important.

Unfortunately, Immunity can be flipped, removed, or stolen, so it doesn’t offer 100% protection from enemies. Nevertheless, Immunity can solely counter certain team compositions becoming the most important effect for some teams.


Incoming damage is reduced by 50%.
Resistance is increased by 50%.

  • Lasts: End of Defense Up duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Defense Down

Defense Up was one of the most important effects from the start. In time, more characters could buff allies with Defense Down which led that more characters being able to counter it or ignore it.

Now Defense Up is almost mandatory to withstand most existing synergies, so you will see this effect very often. The problem is that everyone who can flip effects will make Defense Up a liability instead of an advantage, so be careful when using it.


The next received attack will be Blocked

  • Lasts: Upon Blocking an incoming attack
  • Flip Effect: Bleed

Block Amount is separate for every character. Usually, after blocking, characters will ignore 25% of incoming damage, but some characters can ignore even more. Basically, Deflect mitigates half of the damage received compared to Defense Up for example and it is limited to the number of available Deflects instead of the number of turns.

Obviously, the Deflect is not effective as Defense Up but on some occasions and for some characters could be better. Also flipping or stealing Deflect does not put you at a disadvantage like the same happens for Defense Up.


The next received attack will be Dodged

  • Lasts: Upon Evading an incoming attack
  • Flip Effect: Bleed

Evade allows you to fully ignore the next ability used against you. However, some characters have abilities that cannot be avoidable, and those abilities will never miss you regardless of Evade. When that happens, your Evade will not be used but will stay for the next avoidable attack.

Depending on the enemy, Evade can be an effect that will fully affect the battle outcome. Unfortunately, in most cases, it will not save you against the strongest enemies who usually just ignore Evade.

Some teams that proved to be META for defensive purposes (Young Avengers, Web Warriors …) fully depend on Evade.


On a turn, Heals 10% of a character’s Max HP.

  • Lasts: Start of a Turn
  • Flip Effect: Bleed

One stack of Regeneration usually doesn’t crucially influence the outcome of battle but multiple stacks on the same character can make a difference between winning or losing.

To achieve that effect, you need to equip certain characters in the team with Healer ISO-8 Class to emphasize available Regeneration effects from abilities. Keep in mind that T1 levels and the first two levels of the T2 Healer class grant only Minor Healing whose effects are halved.

It is important to say that Regeneration will probably not help you in fast battles. However, if the fight is prolonged and you can continuously provide Regeneration to your characters, you will most likely be fully healed before the next battle.


Positive effects cannot be Cleared or Flipped.
This effect cannot be Copied or Spread

  • Lasts: End of Safeguard duration (1-2 turns)
  • Flip Effect: Trauma

Safeguard is currently the most important buff and only META characters can place it. Being able to prevent flipping or clearing Positive effects, make those effects significantly stronger and remove their most important disadvantage – to turn against you.

In practice, Safeguard counters most of the META teams, making the team who can benefit from its META itself. That is obviously the reason this effect cannot be copied or spread among other characters.


On a turn, Heals 5% of a character’s Max HP.

  • Lasts: Start of a Turn
  • Flip Effect: Bleed

Minor Regeneration is the same as Regeneration except the healing effect is halved.

Incoming damage is reduced by 25%.
Resistance is increased by 25%.

  • Lasts: End of Minor Defense Up duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Minor Defense Down

Compared to Defense Up, Minor Defense Up offers half of the protection


The damage caused is increased by 50%.
Focus is increased by 50%.

  • Lasts: End of Offense Up duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Offense Down

Offense Up is a crucial effect for reaching full offensive potential. Having Offense Up on characters that can hit all enemies with their abilities is a certain way to easily win battles.

At the moment, Offense Up is no longer a rare commodity available only to a chosen few. Back in the day, combining characters with powerful AOEs with characters who can place them Offense Up was a secret of making META combinations. Today, that is not the case.


The character’s Speed is increased by 50%

  • Lasts: End of Speed Up duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Slow

Increasing the Speed of character grants you faster turns for those characters, therefore, more damage to enemies or more protection to allies.

As for Defense Up and Offense Up, the significance of Speed Up slowly diminished over time because it is available for a lot of characters and teams. Also, against enemies who have the utility to flip your buffs, having Speed Up could be a liability, so be careful about it.


Characters with stealth cannot be targeted by enemies unless they are the only ones available on the battlefield.

  • Lasts: End of Stealth duration (1-2 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Bleed

Stealth protects characters only against single-target-focused attacks. All AOEs that affect all targets or adjacent targets will still cause damage against characters will Stealth. Nevertheless, being able to avoid targeting prevents enemies from controlling you with some nasty debuffs. That fact alone can crucially affect the outcome of the battle because Stealth makes sure that you will deliver your package when the Turn comes.

Unfortunately, against targets who have AOEs that flip buffs, Stealth is helpless like most of the other buffs.


All enemies must target only the characters with Taunt for the effect duration,

  • Lasts: End of Taunt duration (1-2 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Bleed

Taunt is a protective buff that forces enemies to hit the target they don’t want. This buff is generally available only to Protectors, but some characters can place Taunt as a debuff to prevent enemies from avoiding damage.

It is important to say that several characters can ignore Taunt, but their number is limited. Whether you are using Taunt for Defensive or Offensive purposes, the correct timing is everything. Knowing when and how to focus on incoming or outgoing damage can be the difference between winning or losing.



Debuffs are opposites of buffs. When there are characters who can improve allies, there are always characters who can do exactly the opposite against enemies.

Basically, debuffs are negative effects that can be placed on one or more enemies simultaneously. Being able to reduce the effectiveness of the enemy team gives you an opportunity to control the battle in your favor and force enemies to do what they wouldn’t do otherwise.


An affected character cannot use Special and Ultimate Abilities

  • Lasts: End of Ability Block duration (1-2 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Evade

Placing Ability Block on certain enemies at the right time can essentially influence their ability to cause harm. To know what characters should be prioritized you must be fully aware of all abilities available before deciding which one should be prevented.

Ability Block is arguably the most important debuff in the game now – you are not only preventing enemies from using their abilities, but you also decide in which direction the battle will go. Most importantly, at this moment no one is immune to Ability Block, and only Immunity on spawn can prevent it from Landing.


An affected character’s Accuracy is reduced by 100%

  • Lasts: End of Blind duration (1-2 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Stealth

Most of the Blinded characters are basically useless during the duration of effect. They will be able to play and use abilities, but they will not cause any effect whatsoever unless they are cleansed or immune to Blind.

It’s important to know that abilities that always hit ignore the Blind effect allowing characters to fully deliver their package. Nevertheless, being able to place Blind makes every character still special.


An affected character cannot receive any buffs for the effect duration.

  • Lasts: End of Disrupted duration (1-2 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Immunity

Placing Disrupted is crucial against characters who rely on Taunt or other effects that make them fully operational. For example, preventing a character from being protected or boosted will affect the usual Turn rotation to your advantage, and could bring you victory.

On the other hand, characters who can flip negative effects could transform Disrupted into Immunity making your life considerably harder if not impossible.


Damage received is increased by 50%.
Resistance is decreased by 50%

  • Lasts: End of Defense Down duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Defense Up

Targets affected with Defense Down are considerably more squishy and easier to kill. Having characters under Offense Up who will use their ability against targets with Defense Down is a certain way to victory.

Being able to place Defense Down is still limited to only a handful of characters for a reason. If you have a character with Defense Down, try to cleanse the effect immediately and if you have enemies under that effect focus all your attacks on them.

The effect itself is one of the most important debuffs in the game currently.


Affected characters take a percentage of the source ability damage each turn.

  • Lasts: Start of a turn
  • Flip Effect: Regeneration

Bleed is the effect that is opposite to Regeneration in its nature. However, the damage granted from Bleed is not linked to Target’s HP but to the damage of the character who is responsible for placing the Bleed. This means that the effects of Bleed could vary from harmless to deadly.

The game mechanic is made that most buffs when flipped will transform into Bleed but the effect will always be different. Bleed is an extremely tricky effect in MSF because it requires actual mathematical knowledge during the fights to fully understand whether to act about it or not. Only experience will help you in this matter.


An affected character cannot be healed

  • Lasts: End of Heal Block duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Deathproof

For all teams that rely on healing, Heal Block is the worst nightmare. In quick battles like Arena, War, or CC, Heal Block is not that important because everything is decided before healing can take any real effect.

However, in Raids or in Dark Dimension, Heal Block is one of the most important effects. Knowing how to control one’s own and enemy Heal Blocks is the most important skill for both Raids and Dark Dimension.


Affected characters take a percentage of the source ability damage each turn.

  • Lasts: Start of a turn
  • Flip Effect: Minor Regeneration

Effects of Minor Bleed are halved compared to Bleed.

Negative effects cannot be Cleared or Flipped.
This effect cannot be Copied or Spread.

  • Lasts: End of Trauma duration (1-2 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Safeguard

Trauma is the opposite effect to Safeguard. Characters affected cannot cleanse debuffs on them meaning that all cleansing abilities and advantages are not viable anymore.

The importance of Trauma is equal to the importance of Safeguard and that is the reason that only a few characters can place it. Those characters who can are considered as Top Tier characters for a reason.

Without a doubt, Trauma is the most powerful debuff currently.


Damage received is increased by 25%.
Resistance is decreased by 25%.

  • Lasts: End of Minor Defense Down duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Minor Defense Up

Effects of Minor Defense Down are halved compared to Defense Down.

Reduce the damage by 50%
Reduce Focus by 50%

  • Lasts: End of Offense Down duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Offense Up

The effects of Offense Down are proportionally opposite to the effects of Offense Up. In other words, if enemies are under the effect of Offense Down it is like you have Defense Up on your characters and vice versa.

In practice, it may seem that Offense Down is not as useful as having Defense Up but that is only a feeling – a wrong feeling. Knowing how to utilize Offense Down on enemies and how to benefit from it can be learned only through experience.

This effect can be flipped so it can be used as an offensive tool when your characters are affected by it.

Overall, Offense Down is the most underrated effect in the game currently.


Affected characters have their Speed reduced by 50%

  • Lasts: End of Slow duration (1-3 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Speed Up

Slow has become an ordinary effect that is available to more than 50% of characters in the game. Having an effect that is present in almost every battle could diminish its true value.

The fact is that with Slow you can control the battle in a way where the outcome could be different than the overall strength suggests. Deciding which characters will have their turns delayed gives you an opportunity to affect ability rotation in your favor.

In games like this everything depends on the speed – being able to play 2 or 3 turns while not being threatened at all opens numerous possibilities and greatly mitigates received damage.

Slow may have an ordinary effect now, but it is still extremely important like 5 years ago.


Affected characters lose the next turn.
Affected characters cannot Block or Dodge

  • Lasts: End of Stun duration (1-2 Turns)
  • Flip Effect: Counterattack

Stun is an ordinary effect known in all games. It prevents characters from playing or reacting, making them fully vulnerable to all kinds of attacks.

The importance of Stun was never fully appreciated in Marvel Strike Force due to game mechanics. Being under the effect of Stun does not spend Energy nor delay using of abilities as Blind does for example (against AI). Also, some important characters like Doctor Doom can activate their passive while under the Stun which they cannot do while under Ability Block.

Overall, instead of being the most important debuff in the game, Stun just delays a character from continuing their Ability rotation. Stun is important indeed, but current game mechanics and characters’ kits do not represent its value in the right manner in practice.


Other Effects

Buffs and Debuffs are common expressions in all games of this type. However, like other games, Marvel Strike Force has some effects that are related only to certain situations and that can’t be considered only as positive or negative effects. Those effects are unique and don’t have the same rules as buffs or debuffs.

The affected character will assist the next character on their next Turn

  • Lasts: Upon assisting

Assist Now is actually a pretty rare effect considering that the majority of Assist are executed due to passive abilities. Nevertheless, having a character that will Assist on the next turn is always a good thing since it increases the overall damage potential.


The affected character is Charged

  • Lasts: Upon releasing Charges (depends on a character)

The Charge effect is different for every character who has it. Depending on the character, the Charge status passively increases or decreases certain effects or abilities, or it is activated after reaching a certain number of Charges.

Explaining each Charge separately would require a new separate page (look for it in the future) so I will not do it now.


The affected character’s damage received is increased by 10%

  • Lasts: Until the effect is removed by Striker ISO-8 class’ hit or expires due to Turn duration

There are two kinds of Vulnerable effects. ISO-8 classes (Skirmisher and Raider) can place Vulnerable that lasts indefinitely or until it is removed by Striker ISO-8 hit. Additionally, Vulnerable can be placed by some characters’ abilities outside of ISO-8 classes. The effect is the same with the difference that the Vulnerable effect from abilities has its duration (1-2 Turns).

Knowing how to benefit from ISO-8 Vulnerable status is the ultimate goal in Marvel Strike Force for which you will need experience and access to the end game content.

New effects

Exposed is a neutral effect, on its own it doesn’t do anything. Instead, it can synergize with different characters and allow them to have additional bonuses in a fight. Exposed doesn’t expire.

For instance, when using Super Skrull if the enemy has Exposed applied to them Skrull will prevent them from gaining Safeguard. Another character who can use Exposed – Vahl, will heal themselves for 5% Health and generate 1 Ability Energy and 10% Speed Bar each time an enemy with Exposed is hit.

So far only a few characters characters can interact with Exposed with more coming soon.

Exhausted is a special effect that decreases the following stats by 20% – Armor, Damage, Focus, Resistance, and Increases the incoming Damage by 20%. This effect never expires and can stack.

Initially, it was introduced in Alliance War mode where Defensive teams would gain Exhausted after each win. This was introduced to combat unbeatable defenses because Exhausted can stack (up to 4 times in War) and eventually the defense team would have their Stats reduced by 80% which would make them easier to beat. Later, Exhausted was also added to the Cosmic Crucible and most recently, with the introduction of Mephisto, it started appearing as an effect that individual characters can apply.


This is the full list of all current effects in the Marvel Strike Force. If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out to us on our Discord.